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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

<LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

20.11.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER TO MEET US PRESIDENT BUSH DURING NATO SUMMIT
  • [02] GUL: “TURKEY’S DEMOCRACY WILL BE
  • [03] RAISED TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS”
  • [04] SCHROEDER TELLS ERDOGAN TURKEY MUST
  • [05] DO MORE TO GET DATE FOR TALKS
  • [06] OUTGOING CABINET HANDS OVER POSTS
  • [07] TO NEW MINISTERS
  • [08] PARLIAMENT ELECTS NEW SPEAKER
  • [09] BUSH CONGRATULATES NEW PRIME MINISTER GUL
  • [10] BUSH STEPS UP DIPLOMATIC PRESSURE FOR
  • [11] TURKEY’S EU BID
  • [12] RASMUSSEN: “A ‘SPECIAL STATUS’
  • [13] FOR TURKEY’S PROSPECTIVE EU MEMBERSHIP
  • [14] IS OUT OF THE QUESTION”
  • [15] IMF, WORLD BANK: “POSITIVE SIGNALS ARE
  • [16] COMING FROM THE AKP”
  • [17] DYP SETS CONGRESS FOR DEC. 14
  • [18] US CONSIDERING FURTHER AID TO TURKEY
  • [19] WESTON VISITS ANKARA TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [20] FOREIGN MINISTER YAKIS: “TURKEY MIGHT MAKE
  • [21] SOME CONCESSIONS ON THE ESDP AND CYPRUS ISSUES”
  • [22] NATO ASSEMBLY HEAD: “TURKEY IS AN
  • [23] INDISPENSABLE MEMBER OF THE ALLIANCE”
  • [24] DENKTAS ASKS FOR “FLEXIBILITY” ON UN CYPRUS PLAN
  • [25] EU BODIES ANTICIPATING GUL, COPENHAGEN SUMMIT
  • [26] TAYLAN BREAKS SIX EUROPEAN RECORDS
  • [27] IN WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIP
  • [28] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [29] FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [30] THE NEW GOVERNMENT AND THE NEW PARTY
  • [31] BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)
  • [32] A FOREIGN POLICY TROIKA
  • [33] BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

  • [01] SEZER TO MEET US PRESIDENT BUSH DURING NATO SUMMIT

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is scheduled to meet with US President George Bush today at the NATO summit in Prague, the Czech Republic. The two presidents are expected to discuss the Cyprus issue, Turkey’s European Union membership bid, recent developments on the Iraq issue, NATO enlargement as well as bilateral Turkish-US relations. A delegation of high- level foreign ministry officials and ambassadors yesterday briefed Sezer on these issues in the leadup to the meeting. In addition, US Ambassador in Ankara Robert Pearson yesterday met with Sezer’s Foreign Policy Advisor Tacan Ildem and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal to set an agenda for the bilateral meeting. Bush is expected to urge Sezer not to let his country miss an opportunity to reach a permanent settlement on the Cyprus issue, since he believes that the UN Cyprus plan is a historic chance to reach a deal amenable to both sides on the island. _Cumhuriyet

    [02] GUL: “TURKEY’S DEMOCRACY WILL BE

    [03] RAISED TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS”

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul made his first official speech yesterday at NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Istanbul. Stressing that Turkey had a secular, democratic identity, Gul said, “A brand new day has dawned in Turkey. During our rule, our nation will continue to be part of the modern international community.” Pointing to Turkey’s strategic importance, Gul asked the NATO members to support its European Union membership bid. “Turkey is awaiting a concrete, unambiguous perspective on its membership bid,” Gul said. “At the EU’s Copenhagen summit next month, we rightfully expect a date for the start of our accession negotiations. We will continue our reforms, and our democracy will soon be raised to European standards.” /Turkiye/

    [04] SCHROEDER TELLS ERDOGAN TURKEY MUST

    [05] DO MORE TO GET DATE FOR TALKS

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), yesterday met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to seek his support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid before next month’s EU Copenhagen summit. Germany was the fourth stop on Erdogan’s tour of EU member states after Italy, Greece and Spain. During their talks, Schroeder said that to get a date for its EU membership talks, Turkey should work to solve the Cyprus problem, and do more to ensure its status as a democratic, secular state ruled by law. Erdogan said that he wanted Schroeder’s support in obtaining a date at Copenhagen to start EU membership negotiations. After his meeting with Schroeder, Erdogan met with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Erdogan stated that he didn’t consider the EU to be a “Christian community.” He added that he considered Turkey readier to start negotiations with the EU than some of the other EU candidate countries. Fischer, for his part, said that Germany placed great importance on the Copenhagen criteria. “A number of principles such as democracy, the rule of law, women’s social status, and secularism are indispensable principles for attaining full EU membership,” he added. Fischer stated that the Copenhagen summit would be an historic meeting. Erdogan will next fly to Britain to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. /Milliyet/

    [06] OUTGOING CABINET HANDS OVER POSTS

    [07] TO NEW MINISTERS

    The Cabinet ministers of Turkey’s 58th government yesterday, officially took over their posts from their predecessors. This brought to a close the 57th government, which had set a record for longevity in Turkish politics. Retiring Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit handed over his post to Abdullah Gul, deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). After Ecevit expressed his best wishes for the new government’s success, Gul spoke on Ecevit’s long mission in Turkish political life. “We have learned much from him,” said Gul. “I do wish him a long and happy life.” Later, the new Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Gul met for the first time yesterday evening. Following their one-and-a-half-hour meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener told reporters that the new government’s program would be read out on Saturday in Parliament and then on Tuesday, debates on the program would be held. He added that a vote of confidence is set to be held next Thursday. /All Papers/

    [08] PARLIAMENT ELECTS NEW SPEAKER

    The Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led Parliament elected a new speaker yesterday. AKP Manisa Deputy Bulent Arinc became speaker in the first round of voting, with 369 votes out of 546. His only rival, opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Ankara Deputy Onder Sav, won 173 of the deputies’ votes. /All Papers/

    [09] BUSH CONGRATULATES NEW PRIME MINISTER GUL

    US President George W. Bush yesterday called Prime Minister Abdullah Gul in order to congratulate him on his new post. Calling from the Air Force One presidential jet, en route to a NATO summit where he will meet with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Bush wished Gul all success to the new government. He also extended an invitation for Gul to visit Washington next year. Gul thanked the US leader and congratulated him, too, for his party’s success in the recent US elections. “I hope that relations between our countries will see further development during my tenure in office,” added Gul. /Turkiye/

    [10] BUSH STEPS UP DIPLOMATIC PRESSURE FOR

    [11] TURKEY’S EU BID

    In a further sign of the high-level diplomatic attention Turkey is receiving within the US administration, US President George W. Bush has recently stepped up diplomatic pressure to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid within the international community. Bush yesterday telephoned Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister of European Union Term President Denmark, to urge progress on Turkey’s EU membership bid, said White House spokesman Scot McClellan. During their conversation, “both leaders agreed on the historic and strategic importance of advancing Turkey's evolution towards the EU and the importance of [next month’s EU] Copenhagen summit in that regard,” added McClellan. /Milliyet/

    [12] RASMUSSEN: “A ‘SPECIAL STATUS’

    [13] FOR TURKEY’S PROSPECTIVE EU MEMBERSHIP

    [14] IS OUT OF THE QUESTION”

    Anders Fog Rasmussen, the prime minister of European Union Term President Denmark, yesterday repudiated an effort by a group of parliamentarians to confer a “special status” on Turkey’s prospective EU membership. Turkey is an EU candidate which the Union is treating fairly and impartially, said Rasmussen, and the “special status” proposed by Christian Democratic members of the EU parliament is out of the question. “The EU won’t apply a double standard to Turkey,” he added. “Turkey has made giant strides in passing political reforms. A decision about Turkey’s membership bid will be made at next month’s Copenhagen summit.” /Aksam/

    [15] IMF, WORLD BANK: “POSITIVE SIGNALS ARE

    [16] COMING FROM THE AKP”

    Ajay Chibber, the World Bank’s Turkey director, yesterday characterized recent economic policy statements from the new ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as “very positive,” adding that he had high hopes for the AKP government. Chibber stated that recent AKP officials’ statements had stressed Turkey’s economic program would also be focused on social factors, adding that the WB saw no difficulty in coordinating with such a program. “We will work with the AKP government and help them restructure the state,” said Chibber. In related news, Tom Dawson, the International Monetary Fund’s external affairs director, said yesterday that Turkey’s economic performance was exceeding expectations. The markets have reacted positively to the new AKP government, said Dawson. “We have confidence that the new government will continue to successfully implement Turkey’s economic program,” he added. /Milliyet/

    [17] DYP SETS CONGRESS FOR DEC. 14

    The True Path Party (DYP), which went down to defeat in the Nov. 3 elections by getting less than the 10% minimum of votes required to enter Parliament, yesterday held its Administrative Board meeting. During the three-and-a-half-hour meeting, DYP leader Tansu Ciller proposed moving up to Dec. 14-15 the date of the party’s congress, previously scheduled for next January, and the board accepted her proposal. Meanwhile, reports say that the DYP spent some TL 11.5 trillion in this year’s election campaign. /Turkiye/

    [18] US CONSIDERING FURTHER AID TO TURKEY

    The Bush administration has begun discussions about compensating Turkey for economic losses and other costs likely to be incurred in a US-led war against Iraq, according to a report in yesterday’s Washington Post. According to Washington Post writer Bradley Graham, “the mere existence of the talks reflects the importance that US officials place on Turkey in any war with Iraq.” US officials interviewed for the article stated that the Bush administration had received a “wish list” from Turkey, which also hopes for “a significant boost in US aid even if no war comes, since the Turkish officials believe that just the talk of war has shaken Turkey's economy, discouraging tourism and trade, raising oil prices and limiting access to international financial markets.” An unnamed senior Bush administration official said, “We've told them that if there is military action against Iraq, we would recognize that Turkey would have some losses and we would have to move in some fashion to help them." US and Turkish officials both said that “several options have been mentioned, including outright grants, preferential trade terms for Turkish exports to the United States, US military equipment transfers and contracts for Turkish firms to help in the reconstruction of a post-war Iraq.” /All Papers/

    [19] WESTON VISITS ANKARA TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE

    US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston yesterday visited Ankara to discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue. Weston and a delegation of three US congressmen met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal at the Foreign Ministry. Remarking that he believed the recent UN Cyprus plan constituted a sound framework for future negotiations, Weston expressed his wish that the new Turkish government would take significant steps to promote the Cyprus peace process. Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry officials yesterday held a meeting to evaluate recent developments on the issue. /Aksam/

    [20] FOREIGN MINISTER YAKIS: “TURKEY MIGHT MAKE

    [21] SOME CONCESSIONS ON THE ESDP AND CYPRUS ISSUES”

    Speaking to journalists yesterday, newly appointed Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis stated that Turkey would alter its “no-concession” stance on the issues of Cyprus and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). “We might make some concessions on these two issues,” said Yakis. “Nobody should read anything sinister into this. It would be normal for us to change our ‘no-concession’ policy in order to get a date for the beginning our country’s European Union accession negotiations.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [22] NATO ASSEMBLY HEAD: “TURKEY IS AN

    [23] INDISPENSABLE MEMBER OF THE ALLIANCE”

    NATO will always support the European Union membership bid of Turkey, an indispensable member of the alliance, NATO Assembly Chairman Doug Bereuter told yesterday’s assembly meeting in Istanbul. “As Turkey needs NATO’s support and encouragement, we also need Turkey as one of our most strategically vital allies,” said Bereuter, who is also a Republican US congressman from the state of Nebraska. Meanwhile, Assembly of the Western European Union President Kalus Buelher said yesterday that the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) should be revised so as to include Turkey and address its concerns over the proposed EU defense mechanism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] DENKTAS ASKS FOR “FLEXIBILITY” ON UN CYPRUS PLAN

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Dentkas has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking for “flexibility” on the new United Nations Cyprus proposal, TRNC Presidential Undersecretary Ergun Olgun said yesterday. Writing from his hospital bed in New York, Denktas said that he had been unable to make the necessary consultations due to his ongoing health problems and Turkey’s transitional government period. Responding to Denktas, a spokesman for Annan said the delay risked causing a missed opportunity. While the UN has heard from Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides saying that he is ready to meet, the spokesman added, no such reply has come from the TRNC. “We understand that Denktas remains hospitalized in New York and that he required consultations before he can provide the UN with the reaction that was requested,” said the spokesman. “The secretary-general is very concerned. A way to get negotiations underway needs to be found urgently.” /Hurriyet/

    [25] EU BODIES ANTICIPATING GUL, COPENHAGEN SUMMIT

    Even as the European Parliament is preparing to extend its welcome to Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of his current tour of Europe, it’s also awaiting Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, European Parliament Chairman Pat Cox said yesterday. “We are pleased with Erdogan’s visit,” Cox told daily Hurriyet. “We also want to meet with Prime Minister Gul.” Expanding on his point, Cox said, “The EU representatives will have the opportunity to get to know Erdogan and the new government thanks to these visits. They will tell us their program and we will put forward our opinion. Dialogue is important for us. We want to meet with Prime Minister Gul as well. Turkey has taken important steps in its reforms.” EU Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen added, “We are following the developments in Turkey closely. Turkey will be discussed at next month’s Copenhagen summit, just like the other candidate countries. When it meets the political criteria, it might be given a date for talks.” EU Commission Chairman Romano Prodi said, “We should pursue a creative and flexible policy with our bordering neighbors and Mediterranean friends. The EU Council will give a decision on Turkey at Copenhagen.” /Hurriyet/

    [26] TAYLAN BREAKS SIX EUROPEAN RECORDS

    [27] IN WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIP

    Turkish weightlifter Nurcan Taylan yesterday scored the silver medal at the 15th Women’s World Weightlifting Championship held in Warsaw, Poland. Along the way, she broke six European records in the snatch, clean-and-jerk and overall categories. /Star/

    [28] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [29] FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [30] THE NEW GOVERNMENT AND THE NEW PARTY

    [31] BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on Turkey’s new government and the Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The new Cabinet headed by Abdullah Gul reflects well the AKP’s makeup. There are certain members who have their roots in the ideological tradition called ‘Milli Gorus’ (National View) represented by the AKP’s predecessors such as the Welfare Party (RP) and the Felicity Party (FP), both of which were closed down for their strong Islamist stance. There are also several ministers who used to occupy high positions in the Motherland Party (ANAP), a coalition member of the previous government which –- like its two partners -- failed to break the 10% threshold in Turkey’s Nov. 3 general elections. There are also skilled economic technicians. All in all, the new government is both a pragmatic and reformist conservative one. I don’t find the presence of figures linked to the above-mentioned ideological tradition to be awry. On the contrary, I believe that those people, too, have now come to realize how precious democracy is, especially in the wake of all the setbacks Turkey has faced over the past decade.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul is, in the words of his predecessor Bulent Ecevit, a truly successful and experienced statesman. Moreover, two of the deputy prime ministers, Ali Sahin and Ertugrul Yalcinbayir, are bona fide democrats who have had long careers in law. They will have seats on the National Security Council (MGK). A statement by new Justice Minister Cemil Cicek was also very promising: ‘I will confer with the former minister. I will especially pay special attention to the counsel of Prof. Hikmet Sami Turk, another predecessor at my post.” Erkan Mumcu, the new education minister, can introduce a fresh outlook to this controversial position. There are young, brand new figures present in the Cabinet, too. I hope this development will contribute to making a new political structure and democracy for Turkey.

    The AKP, as a party of economically and politically underprivileged people, will of course be much more sensitive about social welfare and democracy issues. The most important thing is that the harmony between Prime Minister Gul and AKP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be preserved.”

    [32] A FOREIGN POLICY TROIKA

    [33] BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

    Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on an upcoming “troika period” in Turkey’s foreign policy. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Our foreign policy seems to be indexed on Erdogan’s current tour of Europe. However, there are other very important international meetings besides the contacts of Erdogan, who lacks an official title. All the newspapers and TV stations are concentrating on the meetings held by Erdogan with the British, Spanish and Italian prime ministers. However, nobody seems to be aware that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will also hold similar meetings within the same week. Sezer will go to Prague today to participate in the NATO summit there. The list of bilateral meetings to be held by Sezer is also long. The interesting thing is that Sezer will meet with leaders whom Erdogan has also just met with. In Sezer’s list, there are Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose-Maria Aznar. Sezer will also meet with French President Jacques Chirac, European Union Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US President George W. Bush. Comparing Sezer and Erdogan’s rendez-vous lists, it’s likely that the foreign leaders who’ve met with Erdogan are also looking for an appointment with Sezer as if to answer the question, ‘Is Erdogan telling the truth? Will Turkey’s foreign policy unfold the way Erdogan has pledged?’

    When both our official and unofficial political figures meet with the same foreign leaders with only a few days in between, interesting things can happen. Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis’ situation demonstrates this. Yakis accompanied Erdogan on his visits to Rome, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Athens under the title of Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy. While still en route, he learned that he had been named foreign minister. Then Yakis participated in Erdogan’s meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose-Maria Aznar in his capacity as foreign minister. Actually Yakis should also participate in the NATO summit with his new duty because according to the summit program, there are separate programs and meetings for the foreign and defense ministers besides the NATO member countries’ heads of state and government. However, Yakis preferred to participate in Erdogan’s tour of Europe instead of accompanying Sezer during the NATO summit. Then it fell to Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal to accompany Sezer. It’s very normal for Ziyal to participate in meetings in which the foreign minister is unable to attend. However, the bilateral meetings to be held by Ziyal in Prague are interesting because Ziyal will meet not with the EU member countries’ foreign ministry undersecretaries, but with their full-fledged foreign ministers. There are also Dutch, Irish, Austrian, German and Swedish foreign ministers in Ziyal’s slate of meetings. For now, Turkish politics is being carried out on two tracks, Erdogan and Yakis for the ruling AKP, and Sezer and Ziyal for the government. Another detail confirming this is that the new AKP Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul won’t accompany Sezer to Prague, although he isn’t in Erdogan’s delegation either. So we now have a ‘two-headed’ foreign policy, but Prime Minister Abdullah Gul hasn’t yet started his own foreign contacts. Coming soon will be a ‘troika period’ for Turkey’s foreign policy.”

    ARCHIVE

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